Dramatic Dining

The season of hearty stews and hot apple pie, fall is a great time to put your dining room to use. But what if yours needs a little TLC?  Here, Haskell Matheny, ASID, CAPS, offers some easy (and affordable!) tips for updating your space.

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{ Tips for Walls }

Make a bold entrance.  Take a wallpaper you love and apply it to just one wall for added drama. Think big and bold – you can splurge on price because you will only need a few rolls. Paint the other three walls a quiet, calm coordinating color. Done right, the paper will become the art piece in the room.

Think through your tones. If you’re thinking about painting your room a new color, make sure to look at it in the evening as that’s the time of day when you’re most likely to use it. You want your dining room to look its best at night!

Don’t forget the ceiling. A small scale or interesting texture on the ceiling or inside a tray can really add drama to the dining space and will be noticed by all your guests.


{ Tips for Lighting }

Freshen up your fixture. Your light fixture can act as the focal point of the room. Adding a new, more contemporary fixture will instantly update your space. Opt for a modern style, finish, or material.

Size it right. Not sure which size fixture is right? Add the length (in feet) to the width of your room to get a general idea. So, a 16 foot by 12 foot dining room would work well with a 28- to 30-inch diameter fixture.  As for hanging length, 33 to 36 inches above the table will allow your guests to see across it without interference.

Top it off. If you’re already happy with your chandelier, then consider adding shades, even if it’s just for the holidays. Hundreds of styles, materials, and colors are available today.  It’s a great way to add a punch of style for very little money.


{ Tips for Fabric }

Refresh your upholstery. Updating your fabrics can completely update the look of your dining room. Replace the tired fabric of your existing seat cushions with a fresh color or pattern, and voilá – you have now transformed your tired dining room.

Spice up the ends. Let’s say that your table and chairs are fine, but you need a couple of more seats. Try adding hostess/host chairs upholstered in a new, fresh fabric at each end. Now instead of six chairs you have eight, the look is fantastic, and you and your co-host will feel like royalty at the table.

Treat your windows. If your room is more than 20 years old, chances are that your drapery is ready for a change. Think about going with a simple treatment that coordinates with your new chair fabrics. Today, the look is clean and elegant. A bold and colorful geometric can really bring an old room into the 21st century.

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Haskell Matheny, ASID, CAPS is the owner and principal designer of Haskell Interiors, located in historic downtown Cleveland, Tenn. Visit online at haskellinteriors.com.

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